Fast Online Degree Completion Programs

Want to finish a bachelor's degree fast? Then look into online degree completion programs. These programs can help you fast-track your degree.
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An award-winning historian and writer, Genevieve Carlton, Ph.D., has published multiple scholarly articles and a book with the University of Chicago Press. She currently works as a writer and consultant. She holds a Ph.D. in history from Northwestern...
Updated on December 21, 2023
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Tyler Epps is an editor for BestColleges. He writes and edits content about higher education, specializing in degree planning and college rankings. He is passionate about helping students prepare for college and navigate their educational journey. He...
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  • A bachelor's degree often means more job opportunities and higher earning potential.
  • Many colleges offer degree completion programs for students with prior college credits.
  • Degree completion programs generally take 1-2 years depending on your transfer credits.
  • You can major in business, healthcare, the social sciences, and other popular fields.

Want to earn a bachelor's degree in 1-2 years? Then look into online degree completion programs. These accelerated programs are great if you've taken college classes or finished an associate degree. You can use your transfer credits to fast-track your bachelor's degree.

Featured Online Bachelor's Programs

Ready to learn more about degree completion programs? Next, we'll look at what you can expect from a degree completion program and some of the most popular majors.

What Is a Degree Completion Program?

Earning a bachelor's degree generally takes four years. But with a degree completion program, you'll get credit for all your prior college experience. Instead of four years, most degree completion programs take 1-2 years.

That's because you'll use transfer credits to meet general education requirements. Then, you'll take classes to finish your bachelor's degree. Degree completion programs are a great option if you've got transfer credits and you want to fast-track your degree.

Popular Degree Completion Programs

Colleges offer degree completion programs online in many popular majors, including business, education, and the social sciences. And degree completion programs are often one of the fastest ways to earn a bachelor's degree.

Check out some popular programs below to find the right fit for you.

1. Accounting

Already have some accounting courses under your belt? Then consider an accounting bachelor's degree completion program. With a bachelor's in accounting, you can qualify for high-paying accounting roles like auditor and accountant.

These professionals reported a median annual salary of $77,250, according to May 2021 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Here are some great accounting programs to check out. Note that these schools may not offer degree completion programs.

Featured Accounting Bachelor's Degrees

2. Business Management

Qualify for management roles by enrolling in a business management degree completion program. A business management degree can help you meet the requirements for management jobs like finance manager, HR manager, or marketing director.

And management professionals earned the highest median wage of any field at over $102,000 per year (BLS, May 2021).

Here are some great business management programs to check out. Note that these schools may not offer degree completion programs.

Featured Business Management Bachelor's Degrees

3. Communications

Many communications jobs prefer candidates with bachelor's degrees, including jobs in public relations and journalism. An online communications degree completion program can help you earn your bachelor's in communications in as little as one year.

And communications majors reported a median salary of $54,000 per year, meaning your investment can pay off (BLS, 2019).

Here are some great communications programs to check out. Note that these schools may not offer degree completion programs.

Featured Communications Bachelor's Degrees

4. Computer Information Systems

You can level up your information systems career with a degree completion program. With a bachelor's in computer information systems, you'll qualify for roles like information security analyst and computer systems analyst.

Demand for information security analysts is high, and these professionals earned a median salary of $102,600 (BLS, May 2021).

Here are some great computer information systems programs to check out. Note that these schools may not offer degree completion programs.

Featured Computer Information Systems Bachelor's Degrees

5. Computer Science

It's no secret that tech careers pay high salaries. And a bachelor's in computer science can help you stand out compared to bootcamp graduates.

After finishing your degree completion program online, you can work as a software developer. In addition to the strong demand for these professionals, software developers earned a high median salary of over $109,000 (BLS, May 2021).

Here are some great computer science programs to check out. Note that these schools may not offer degree completion programs.

Featured Computer Science Bachelor's Degrees

6. Criminal Justice

Want to qualify for federal law enforcement careers? Then you'll need a bachelor's degree. Degree completion programs can help you maximize your prior credits to earn your criminal justice degree.

You'll also qualify for more criminal justice roles that require a bachelor's degree, like probation officer or forensic science technician. In 2021, the latter earned a median salary of nearly $62,000 (BLS, May 2021).

Here are some great criminal justice programs to check out. Note that these schools may not offer degree completion programs.

Featured Criminal Justice Bachelor's Degrees

7. Education

Many education careers require a college degree. For example, K-12 teachers need a bachelor's degree. Fast-track your teaching career by earning a bachelor's in education through a degree completion program.

How much can you earn? High school teachers made a median wage of nearly $62,000 per year (BLS, May 2021).

Here are some great education programs to check out. Note that these schools may not offer degree completion programs.

Featured Education Bachelor's Degrees

8. Finance

Break into the lucrative field of finance with a degree completion program. With a finance bachelor's degree, you'll qualify for roles like financial analyst in addition to other finance careers.

Financial analysts earned a median salary of over $95,000 per year, and roles for these workers are expected to grow father than average (BLS, May 2021). So, a finance degree can be a great investment.

Here are some great finance programs to check out. Note that these schools may not offer degree completion programs.

Featured Finance Bachelor's Degrees

9. Human Resource Management

Gain leadership and HR skills with a bachelor's in human resource management. Online HR degree completion programs can lead to human resources careers. You can work as an HR specialist, a training and development specialist, or a compensation and benefits specialist.

With experience, you can become an HR manager and earn a median salary of over $126,000 per year (BLS, May 2021).

Here are some great human resources programs to check out. Note that these schools may not offer degree completion programs.

Featured Human Resource Management Bachelor's Degrees

10. Information Technology

IT focuses on applied technology. During an IT degree program, you'll take courses on database management and systems analysis, but you'll also learn how to design networks for different businesses.

You'll qualify for tech positions like computer systems administrator. These professionals reported a median annual salary of around $80,000 (BLS, May 2021).

Here are some great information technology programs to check out. Note that these schools may not offer degree completion programs.

Featured Information Technology Bachelor's Degrees

11. Marketing

Strengthen your research and analytical skills by enrolling in marketing degree completion programs online.

After earning a bachelor's in marketing, you'll qualify for higher-paying marketing careers like market research analyst. These workers earned a median pay of nearly $64,000, with career advancement opportunities (BLS, May 2021).

Here are some great marketing programs to check out. Note that these schools may not offer degree completion programs.

Featured Marketing Bachelor's Degrees

12. Nursing

Want to become a nurse? Or are you an RN who wants more responsibilities? Many top-ranked nursing programs offer RN-to-BSN programs and second-degree BSN programs.

With your bachelor's in nursing, you'll qualify for nursing careers that report high salaries. For example, registered nurses made a median salary of over $77,000 per year (BLS, May 2021).

Here are some great nursing programs to check out. Note that these schools may not offer degree completion programs.

Featured Nursing Bachelor's Degrees

13. Political Science

Investigate government systems and political theories while earning your bachelor's in political science. Degree completion programs can prepare you for political careers that require a college degree.

Many government jobs, for example, prefer candidates with a bachelor's degree. Social science majors reported a median income of $64,000 (BLS, 2019).

Here are some great political science programs to check out. Note that these schools may not offer degree completion programs.

Featured Political Science Bachelor's Degrees

14. Psychology

Want to hone your analytical and research skills while studying human behavior? Then consider a psychology degree completion program.

With a bachelor's in psychology, you'll qualify for social services, business, and nonprofit careers. Or continue your education to work in psych careers as a therapist, counselor, or psychologist.

Here are some great psychology programs to check out. Note that these schools may not offer degree completion programs.

Featured Psychology Bachelor's Degrees

15. Sociology

Explore social systems as a sociology major. Online degree completion programs make it easier to finish your sociology degree.

After graduation, you can work in sociology careers in the legal, public sector, communication, or business fields. For example, public relations specialists made a median annual salary of nearly $63,000 (BLS, May 2021).

Here are some great sociology programs to check out. Note that these schools may not offer degree completion programs.

Featured Sociology Bachelor's Degrees

Is a Degree Completion Program Right for Me?

If you've been out of school for a while, you might wonder if you should go back to college. Degree completion programs are a great option to complete and fast track your degree. Earning a bachelor's degree can boost your lifetime earnings and lead to new career paths.

A degree completion program might be the best option if you have at least 40 transfer credits. Some programs require a minimum of 60 credits.

How Do I Choose a Degree Completion Program?

When comparing degree completion programs, it's important to look at factors like cost, delivery format, and admissions requirements. You should choose the right program for your needs.

If you're working full time, for example, online degree completion programs give you the most flexibility. You should also research how many transfer credits each program will give you. Maximizing your transfer credits will save you time and money on your bachelor's degree.

Frequently Asked Questions About Degree Completion Programs

What is an online degree completion program?

An online degree completion program awards transfer credits for college classes you've already taken. Instead of spending four years on a bachelor's degree, you can graduate from degree completion programs online in as few as 1-2 years.

You'll submit transcripts to learn how many credits you'll still need for your degree. Then, you'll take online classes and work with an academic advisor to meet your graduation requirements. On graduation day, you'll leave college with a bachelor's degree.

Is an online degree completion program worth it?

Online degree completion programs can offer a strong return on investment. That's because people with a bachelor's degree typically earn higher salaries and qualify for more jobs.

Instead of competing on the job market with some college but no bachelor's degree, you'll benefit from a higher level of education.

Plus, you'll get credit for your prior college classes, which saves time on your degree. Finally, an online format is flexible and convenient for many nontraditional students.

Who should enroll in a degree completion program?

Degree completion programs are a great option if you have at least one year of college credits or an associate degree. Colleges offer degree completion programs online to help students with college credit finish their degrees.

You'll submit transcripts and receive credit for your prior coursework. Then, an academic advisor will design a custom degree plan so you can finish a bachelor's degree in 1-2 years. Keep in mind that some degree completion programs require at least 60 transfer credits.

BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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